It’s what you make of it

As we go to print, foyer renovations are underway at North Melbourne Town Hall, where for months we’ve been negotiating the myriad decisions that go into revitalising a heritage-listed building. The metaphor hasn’t escaped us: as our beloved, outgoing Artistic Director Angharad Wynne-Jones leaves for new adventures, we enter a time of renovation, flux and new solutions.

So for 2018 we embrace the year of the hack, doing what we do with what we have – the ultimate creative skill.

For the third Festival of Live Art we invite you – actually we need you – to help us make the work: there are onesies to sew, topics to be debated, trinkets to assemble and landscapes to be painted. It’s all about getting your hands dirty! All this art takes elbow grease and every vote counts. This festival is entirely up to you.

For Next Wave in May we welcome a bunch of brilliant artists exploring identity, gender and colonisation. Selina Thompson (UK) presents her Edinburgh Fringe hit, salt.; we premiere a new work by Sydney duo, Black Birds; and Roberta Rich creates a compelling new video installation.

Like the mortar between our festival experiences, works like Personal – Jodee Mundy’s autobiography as a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adults) – reveal ideas of perception and perspective.

In June, we see two unique installations about privacy, secrets and spectatorship: LONE by THE RABBLE and St Martins, and a new version of The Naked Self by Michele Lee and Tanya Dickson. Finally, and perhaps as an augury of Season 2, Melbourne gets to meet Carrion – a macabre, post-human spectre from a truly unique performer, Justin Shoulder.

Not least, we’re also planning our third Refuge, scheduled for September 2018, on the theme of pandemic. Artists and other collaborators will wrestle with our biggest challenge in a pandemic: how we bring the community together when, in a contagious health crisis, we would need to be kept apart.

So be prepared: it’s time to embrace the chaos, to change, to hack, push up our sleeves and have a crack at figuring out what’s next.

And we’ll need your help!

— Josh Wright

Acting Artistic Director